Saturday, February 6, 2010

Boosting the local economy

Today when my friend Dana picked me up, she suggested we go shopping. And not the type of shopping we normally do, but to check out some new places. We went to a strip mall that has both a quilt store and a scrapbook store. I should have known I was in trouble from the beginning!

Dana warned me about this quilt store called "The Picket Fence," and how she had been there once and all the fabric was to die for. What she didn't warn me was how costly fabric is, especially fabric that was this beautiful.

Once upon a time, as Dana and I later discussed, people sewed to SAVE money. That is definitely not the case today. Fabric is so expensive, unless you buy an old outfit at the second hand shop and take it apart, you are going to spend over $50.00 for the material to make a handbag. Don't ask how I know this, because Dana did just that!

This was the first scene I saw when we entered the establishment. I wish I'd saved the picture that captured the lovely wood and brocade foot stool you get a glimpse of in the lower left. I got suckered into the heart fabric on the top of the stack on the sewing machine, thinking about the dress I am going to make for my "Dress Up 2010" project I've joined over at Margaret's blog.

Everywhere we looked we saw little vignettes of lovely fabrics.

The displays were stunning,

and there was way more material than anyone could see in one day.

I was perfectly content to take photos of all these beautiful areas until I saw the tag on the above bag. Be sure to enlarge the photo to check out all the goodness going on in this bag. I simply FLIPPED OUT. After a long and involved discussion with Dana, I finally settled on FOUR INCHES of each fabric I purchased (I show them later in the post), except for one fabric that the print was so large I need six inches to get the full effect, and some turquoise "ticking" that I couldn't pass up and bought 1/2 yard of. I won't even begin to tell you how much I spent, but suffice it to say, I've never spent that much in one store and gotten so little in my life! However, I have some incredible (and I do mean incredible) memories of the place and a few nice photos, too.

After leaving the fabric store, we went to the scrapbook store, which was on the other side of the strip mall. I had told Dana about Graphic 45, a scrapbook line I found several weeks ago. Now I'm not a scrapbooker or card maker, in fact, there's not a whole lot of good things I can find about scrapbooking, but I fell in love with this paper. After I piqued Dana's interest, she went online and found all the lines they carry.

I totally forgot to take photos in the scrapbook store, but I'll show what I bought (later in the post). I found the 75% off row and went to town, buying all the twill they had in two colors, plus a yard each of some that had sentiments on it. I couldn't beat the price of $0.18/yard for the plain and $0.25/yard for the printed. I made up for it, though, when I splurged and bought ONE page of Graphic 45 precut tags (with ONE ROCKING HORSE), Staz-on reinkers in colors I didn't have, and some bling.

Next it was off to Home Depot, where I wanted scrap lumber. Unfortunately, Home Depot no longer sells scrap lumber except in full cartloads. I have no idea if this is company wide, but it sure is the case at our west Wichita store. So we looked around for storage aids. I found these I thought were decent, then realized I had no idea what size to buy and where I would put it after I did. After all, it would have to go in my basement studio, because just about everyone knows that casters (included) don't roll worth a hoot on carpet.

Dana, however, bought a Husky organizer. She plans to keep her journals and pens in them. There are pockets all the way around AND along one long side on the inside of the tote. The handle is nice and sturdy, too.

Even though it was my idea to go there, I ended up getting only a 1/2" wooden dowel for my "closet" that I will have to build in the near future. At least I now have the "rod" that will hold the hangers that my dresses will sit on. At this rate, the cabinet will be made by July!

Next it was off to the pet store, where Dana bought some cat "essentials."

I'd never been in this store before and once again, I got sucked into buying something I had NO plan of buying or even realizing I needed. As Dana was checking out cat litter boxes, so did I. I found one with a lid, handle, freshener, and door opening. I'm not sure if Bleubeard will use it or not (don't know what he'll use if he doesn't), but it will sure beat cleaning kitty litter every day from around his current box. Of course I had to buy a big one because of his size.

It was late in the day when Dana got me home. I was about to put everything away, when I decided to show what I had purchased (minus the 36" long dowel rod). I apologize for the quality of the photos, but I have noticed that this new camera takes better outdoor shots than indoor. Since I have to save them at such lo-res, they loose their resolution quickly. The heart ribbon might just get used in my February dress, but I somehow doubt it. I don't think it's classy enough for that expensive fabric I purchased.

The pink bird laying on the envelope they put it in for safe keeping was one of those things you buy when you need a few dimes more to jump the dollar amount high enough to get a store card punched. If I recall, it's one punch for every $10.00 and you get something free, or at discount, once the card is full. Guess I should check, but I will probably give it to Kathy, since she is the only scrapbooker among us.

Here is a picture of what a small country could feed its people on for a month!! I got a total of 7 lengths of 4" wide strips. Wow, 4" isn't much, is it? The material in the back is the ticking. The buttons, thread, and floss are colors I wanted for either Christmas or Valentine's day embellishments and have nothing to do with any of the material I purchased.

Here is the pale turquoise ticking and a fat quarter I found at half price. There are children, bicycles, airplanes, and an old car all printed in black with a turquoise background.

I certainly boosted the economy yesterday at several stores. I was surprised how much I purchased that was not on sale or at deep clearance. I'm just glad I don't go out and about with Dana every day. But yesterday was fun, and both of us forgot about all the packing, sorting, and moving that is ahead!

Today's featured artist is the web site of Lynda Andrus, a Professor of Art at Kansas State University in Manhattan, KS. I should probably save this site for Earth Day, but I'm having trouble finding people who are not part of OWOH. Andrus's art is best described in her own words:
"My pieces are created from vintage fabrics and thrift store finds. The materials express subtle tactile qualities of past experiences and make everyday objects take on a sense of the sacred. Nostalgic sentiments emanate from textures of worn cloth, discarded candy wrappers, dishes, toys, and other found objects from the home. These materials become precious links with those who have handled them."
Her art has a vibrancy and eco-friendly aspect to it that I think you will enjoy.

8 thoughtful remarks:

Diane said...

What a fun shopping day!! I saw Lynda Andrus in the latest issue of Cloth, Paper, Scissors--her work is outstanding!!

Halle said...

What a fun day! I have trouble keeping my wallet closed when I go shopping at those type of store as well. I'm interested to see what you create from you treasures.

~*~Patty Szymkowicz said...

Fun going shopping with you E!!!
That quilt store looks right out of a magazine!
Had to giggle what you knew going into this excursion ... retail therapy is good all around ;)
Headed to check out your links!

La Dolce Vita said...

thanks for taking us with you! vicarious shopping is way cheaper!

Lori Saul said...

Oh- what fun- I really enjoyed the trip to the fabric store! I love to get small squares (quilter's squares) at Ben Franklin, Joanne's Fabrics etc.- they are perfect for small fabric journals or for using in collage - not too exprensive either - but great fabric off rolls that other people have purchased from. Thanks for sharing your trip!

Marlynn said...

Oh, Elizabeth, I learned the cost of material when I was quilting back in the 90s. My fav material was Hoffman fabric and a twin Log Cabin Quilt that I made ended up costing over a $ the 90s. Holy Cow - but the material is to die for and will last forever. My Granmother quilted using scraps from old clothes.... And the Graphic 45 paper - I've been a sucker to it for about 6 months...and they still amaze me with beautiful new designs they keep coming out with.. I hoard that paper and I openly admit it to the world. I hoard it! Sounds like you had a wonderful day, girlfriend! All is well here, we made it thru the blizzard with about 30"... will have to dig the car out tomorrow. hugs to you and the Bleubeard! Hope he loves his litter box. I, too, once had a big cat, GoldenBoy, and a regular litter box never worked! LOL

Donna: said...

Yummmmmmm I love everything in the store photos and the goodies that you purchased too. Golly I would have really been in debt if I had gone along. (no restraints in those stores) What fun !!! Hope BlueBeard likes his new digs too.

Dianne said...

gorgeous fabric store & displays...yes, my latest baby quilt shocked me with the cost of fabric. your choices look intriguing for collage, though...what fun! thanks for taking us all along.